Silicon Valley is home to companies like Google, Facebook and Apple. When these companies come to mind it is easy to think of their incredible office spaces; food for employees, flexible work schedules and collaborative spaces are just a few of the highlights. When were hear about these companies many of us believe we will never see anything like it. I believed the same until I stepped through the doors of Nexteer Automotive at their grand opening and ribbon cutting last week. The new facility is simply breathtaking and certainly earns the title of “Silicon Valley meets Motown.”
The facility seamlessly connects with employees at the company’s other locations. Individuals in Saginaw were able to hand write a message that appeared on a whiteboard in real time here in Auburn Hills! The employee cafeteria was home to large touch screen displays that showed traffic maps for the Metro Detroit area and other important announcements for employees and visitors.
The work space of the building was designed for collaboration. At every turn there were common spaces of various sizes. The office is almost completely open. Each work space features desks that can accommodate both sitting and standing. Co-workers are easily accessible and collaboration occurs naturally. The handful of traditional offices in the building are much smaller than the typical “corner office” and feature glass walls, promoting both transparency and, again, collaboration.
Nexteer Automotive has created a workplace that brings together the best of their industry and the proven success of the modern collaborative work space. They are right to call the building their “smart headquarters.” We wish Nexteer continued success as they and their employees settle into their new home. And we’re certainly proud to be their World Headquarters hometown.
Sam Harris, Management Assistant
The City of Auburn Hills Senior Services Department has been working alongside Oakland University Physical Therapy Program on a grant that will benefit the growing population of senior citizens within our city limits. Karen Adcock, Senior Services Director and Deb Colling, Health and Wellness Coordinator & Community Liaison have been assisting Dr. Sara Arena and Dr. Chris Wilson of Oakland University for the past year with a common goal to obtain a grant that will link senior citizens within the community with Physical Therapy to help with primary and secondary risk prevention in the home. Continue reading “Auburn Hills Senior Services Partners with Oakland University”
Public Safety services are key to the overall success and reputation of any community. A good police department and fire department give citizens the peace of mind they need to enjoy the community in which they live. Perhaps there is nothing more important than feeling safe and secure. So when we asked citizens about police and fire services here in the community, they answered as follows. Continue reading “Survey Results – Public Safety”
As the next installment for the results of the citizen survey, I thought I would talk about everyone’s favorite subject: ROADS.
The results are encouraging and something I am pleased to be sharing. For the question: How would you rate the condition of streets in your neighborhood? Citizens responded as follows:
- Men: Excellent (12%), Good (52%), Fair (26%), and Poor (11%)
- Women: Excellent (10%), Good (50%), Fair (30%), and Poor (10%)
For the question: How would you rate the condition of major roads in Auburn Hills? Citizens responded as follows:
- Men: Excellent (7%), Good (49%), Fair (30%), and Poor (14%)
- Women: Excellent (6%), Good (57%), Fair (31%) and Poor (6%)
Continue reading “Citizen Survey Results: Roads”
Last night at our City Council meeting, a local podiatrist asked for his site plan to be extended another year because the demand for skilled labor in our region and throughout Michigan is so significant that it is driving up the cost of just about everything construction-related and therefore, causing projects to either be delayed or not get built. This is a challenge for people writing the checks, but good for those who are performing the work. So it was quite a coincidence that this morning I would be attending the Ribbon Cutting for the new precision tool technology lab at OCC/Auburn Hills, where students can learn a skilled trade right out of high school in a clean, high-tech lab environment, and in just two years, earn $30+ per hour. Where else could it be more important than Auburn Hills to celebrate technology, surrounded by companies in our community that are seeking skilled labor in careers that are being developed by OCC. My observation at last night’s City Council meeting is that we need to bring back the prominence and respect of skilled trades in our society. A college degree isn’t for everyone . . . but making a good living is. As a parent, I think it’s important to talk to our kids about careers in skilled trades where they can be a part of technology that is exciting and contributes to the growth of our local, statewide, and national economy. Based on a 2,080 hour work year (40 hours per week), young people completing the precision tooling program are earning annual incomes starting around $60,000. That is nothing to sneeze at! Check out the expected starting wages of many other professions, and I think you’ll find this to be a highly competitive rate of pay and the demand for these jobs continues to grow.
OCC Chancellor Dr. Tim Meyer and State Representative Brad Jacobsen stand next to a Hurco precision tool machine in the Hurco Lab in T-building (the Advanced Technology Building) at OCC/Auburn Hills
Continue reading “Promoting Skilled Trades Helps Students Get Their Foot In The Door”
I decided this morning that it would be appropriate to go a little out of order in presenting the next blog installment of our citizen survey results. Because yesterday we held a millage election for a Headlee override to adequately fund the Fire Department, it made sense to me to share with you both the Fire millage results and the feelings about the Fire Department from our citizen survey. It will be clear to you that both the survey and millage results have a direct correlation. But I first want to say ‘THANK YOU” to the citizens of Auburn Hills for approving the millage. This was a “no frills” request which means it will produce only enough dollars to add a modest number of full-time personnel needed to more adequately serve our growing community, and to purchase necessary supplies and equipment. That is what we promised . . . that is what will happen! To the nearly three out of four citizens who voted to approve the fire millage, we appreciate your confidence and support. For the one out of four of you who voted no, we promise that we will continuously strive to earn your trust and to deliver to you the best possible service at the most economical cost.
When asked if citizens who took the survey had contact with any one or more of thirteen City service areas in the last twelve months, the Fire Department results were as follows:
- 60% were either satisfied or very satisfied.
- 38% reported uncertain, suggesting they likely did not have contact
- 3% indicated they were very dissatisfied
- 67% rated Ambulance/EMS response as Adequate or Excellent, with 33% uncertain, again suggesting the likelihood of no contact
- 56% indicated that fire incident response was Adequate or Excellent, with 1% rating it poor and another 43% uncertain, suggesting the likelihood of no contact
- Only half of all respondents feel that we have just about the right amount of Fire/EMS personnel.
These survey results would appear to indicate that for those who have utilized the Fire Department, especially Emergency Medical Services, they are generally pleased with the service they receive. But it is worth noting that only about half of the respondents feel there is enough personnel. Considering that we employ only 14 full-time Firefighters who are also emergency medical personnel, to cover the City 24/7/365, increasing our full-time staffing needs to be a priority. In 2017 when we begin receiving the dollars produced from our newly adjusted fire millage rate, we will also begin to hire additional staff. Dollars will also be utilized for equipment purchases that we will need to make in the next couple of years, including a replacement ladder truck at over $900,000.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager
Six months ago you probably heard about Auburn Hills utilizing its Downtown Education Nook, The DEN, as a coworking space during the day. The DEN is open to the public for evening study hours and is available for a small fee to freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for a small space to call their office.
Here is an intimate look at two of the businesses that call The DEN their home.
Inkwell English Education began in 2005 as a one-woman initiative. Soon after, owner, Karen Boniface, expanded her team of passionate educators dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. Inkwell is a small company that provides highly qualified tutoring programs that fit all student’s needs. Their passionate team focuses on mastery-learning beginning with the fundamentals and increasing the knowledge set. The individualized approach Inkwell offers students equates to insurmountable achievements in conceptual understanding. Continue reading “Spotlight on Cowork Entrepreneurs”